Antiviral treatment for outpatient use during an influenza pandemic: a decision tree model of outcomes averted and cost-effectiveness.


Community-based antiviral treatment was estimated to avert 14-23% of hospitalizations in an overall population of 62.28 million. Higher proportions of averted outcomes were seen in patients with high-risk conditions, when compared to non-high-risk patients. We found that antiviral treatment was cost-saving across pandemic scenarios for high-risk population groups, and cost-saving for the overall population in higher severity influenza pandemics. Antiviral effectiveness had the greatest influence on both the number of hospitalizations averted and on cost-effectiveness.

We developed a spreadsheet-based, decision tree model to assess outcomes averted and cost-effectiveness of antiviral treatment for outpatient use from the perspective of the healthcare payer in the UK. We defined five pandemic scenarios-one based on the 2009 A(H1N1) pandemic and four hypothetical scenarios varying in measures of transmissibility and severity.

Many countries have acquired antiviral stockpiles for pandemic influenza mitigation and a significant part of the stockpile may be focussed towards community-based treatment.

This analysis shows that across pandemic scenarios, antiviral treatment can be cost-saving for population groups at high risk of influenza-related complications.

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